The Evolution of Smart Speakers In 2018

The Evolution of Smart Speakers In 2018

After the huge wave of smartphones, here comes another au courant addition to the whole new family of devices – the smart speakers. Well, they’re not entirely new to the market, as Google Home and Amazon Echo launched their models over a year ago, closely followed by the Apple Home Pod, the Sonos One and many more. But right now, consumers are raving about them — taking money out of their wallets to get their hands into these babies. So, what exactly can the smart speakers bring to the table?

THEY’RE SMART                           

For newbies who do not know exactly what they are, smart speakers are stand-along speakers which connects to the WiFi, with only very few controls on its surface (primarily because it works by you speaking to it). Both the Amazon Echo and the Google Home work by using a “wake word” or a “wake phrase”, namely “Alexa” and “Hey Google” before you start firing a question.

In addition, these devices only require a one-time initial setup using your computer, tablet, or smartphone, making it super ideal for people with limited computer knowledge. Since most models don’t possess a screen and most of the interaction occurs verbally, it is also perfect for those who are having problems with their vision.

These devices also seem to study the frequency of your commands, and offer suggestions for you the next time around. The Alexa from Amazon Echo provides capabilities which enable customers to create a more personalized experience for themselves. It only requires for you to first enable what it calls “skills” in order to make an app work. After that, it “remembers” the phrases you use every day and less frequently.

However, Google Home has a different approach. Although it has fewer options you can select during your setup process, it offers suggestions based on your need. For example, if you say “Hey Google, can you play some music for me?”, it replies “For that, would you like to try iHeartRadio?”. If you say yes, then it instantly plays music from the app.

THEY ARE YOUR SECOND PHONES

Last fall, both the Google Home and Amazon Echo were able to release one of its latest developments, finally enabling phone call with these devices. It makes it easier and cheaper since the calls are placed over the WiFi Internet, only requiring you to provide the number you want to call.

Both numbers are also able to provide you the contact numbers for local businesses. However, the main difference between the two is that Google Home is the only one able to make calls by the name of the local business, saving you from the hassle of recording the number first, then reciting the number all over again in order to call it.

In addition to making phone calls using the smart speakers, the next big step that customers are craving for would be the ability to send and receive text messages. The Amazon Echo is taking this big leap, with its most recent update allowing Alexa to send messages regardless of whether the recipient has an Echo or not. Google Home cannot send messages yet as of this moment, but experts are predicting that this will be one of their next big priorities in their future updates.

CHEAPER PRICES, BUT NOT CHEAPLY MADE

          Before the holidays last year, Amazon debuted its second Generation Echo at an affordable price of 99$, almost half the price of its original Echo, but with better quality speakers! They also have a smaller version called the Echo Dot, which retails for 49$ which mainly does everything that the larger version can, minus the better quality of the speakers.

Meanwhile, the Google Home is priced at 129$ for the full-size model and at 49$ for its mini version, performing all the functions of its original version, minus the large speakers.

Needless to say, smart speakers have their own big reasons why they’re everywhere, and may stay that way for a long time. Not only are these devices helpful for people to stay entertained and access information easily, they are also convenient even for people with special needs, and are very easy on the pockets. Given all of these benefits and continuously developing features, people surely cannot wait to get their hands on these helpful hands.